NAIA West: 2019 Season Preview

corban c

Corban University – Salem, OR

Head Coach Derek Legg (2nd year)
Assistants Caleb Virtue, Jacob Kopra, Ethan Bragg, Jackson Smith
Affiliation NAIA
Conference NAIA West (Cascade Collegiate Conference)
Website https://corbanwarriors.com
2018 Record 28-26 overall; 16-16 (3rd in conference)
2019 Pre-Season Poll* T-3rd in conference
Top Returning Players (2018 stats) Daniel Freiburger, SR, INF/OF, CoSIDA Academic All-District Honors,  All-NAIA West selection (.345 avg, 68 H, 15 2B, 28 RBI, 21 SB)
Josh Ebert, JR, OF, CoSIDA Academic All-District Honors, All-NAIA West selection (.352 avg, 56 H, 26 RBI, 23 SB)
Top New Players Nate Cantonwine, JR, C/1B, Blue Mountain CC
Brendan Yawn, JR, C, Williston State College
Zach Filos, JR, RHP, Riverside CC
Head Coach Commentary “We cannot wait to get the 2019 season underway. The guys have been working extremely hard to prepare themselves for the long journey ahead and I couldn’t be more proud of the way they have come together as a group. From top to bottom, the players care more about the team success than their own individual success. We believe that is very important in creating a culture that will do what it takes to compete for a National Championship.”
BBNW asked, “What do you want a prospective student-athlete to know about your program?” “We care a lot about the quality of student-athlete that comes into our program. We want them to leave our program better men than they come in as, so they can succeed as a husband, a father, and in the work place. We want to prepare them to make a difference for Jesus Christ in the community. On the field, we will try to out-work every team in the nation because that is the only chance we have to compete against the best of the best. Our goal is to win a National Championship, so I would tell every player before coming, be committed to do all the little things to give us a chance to make that happen.”
BBNW Analysis Coach Legg in his second year must replace a talented and large senior class (17) including 4 senior pitchers that threw over 300 innings. Ebert and Freiburger, both All-Conference selections, will return to ignite the offense in 2019.  In conference, they were 1st and 2nd in stolen bases and 5th and 8th in hitting, respectively. Both have good versatility value also. Senior DH Ben Ross has the power to be a force in the middle of the order. Sophomore outfielder Dakota Fingar showed big upside on both sides of the ball before being hurt early in 2018. Coach Legg likes the running game—The Warriors led the conference in steals in 2018. Corban has limited experience on the mound with only 77 of 452 innings returning. Senior Jonathan Russamono moves from the bullpen to a starter’s spot with the most experience of success. A return to the post season may depend on the development of 14 new pitchers of which 8 are freshmen.

Corban’s season opener is January 25th at William Jessup University in northern California for a 4-game weekend series, followed by the home debut vs. Menlo College February 9th, and the conference start in Lewiston, ID vs. LC State on February 23rd. Corban plays home games at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer, OR. Good luck to the Warriors!

BBNW Alumni on Roster  19

 

 

yotes logo

College of Idaho – Caldwell, ID

Head Coach Shawn Humberger (19th year)
Assistants Brian Schweiger, Todd Barsanti
Affiliation NAIA
Conference NAIA West (Cascade Collegiate Conference)
Website http://yoteathletics.com/
2018 Record 12-26 overall; 5-27  (5th in conference)
2019 Pre-Season Poll* 5th in conference
Top Returning Players (2018 stats) Hunter Boyd, SR, RHP (3.69 ERA, 76 K, 20 BB)
Chase Labbe, SR, C (.270 avg, .400 OB%, excellent defensive catcher)
Niall Manning, SR, RHP (6-2 W/L, 4.00 ERA, 3/1 K/BB ratio in 2017)
Austin Van Horne, JR, SS (.220 avg, 4 HR, 22 RBI, 11 SB)

Carter Vieira, SO, OF (.250 avg, .370 OB%, 10 SB)

Top New Players Matt Clay, JR, OF, Monterey Peninsula JC
Tyler Hilton, JR, RHP, Mesa CC
Alec Hopkins, FR, INF, Canby HS (OR)
Payton Lewis, FR, OF, Rocky Mountain HS (ID)
Drew Ochsner, FR, 1B, Canyon Ridge HS (ID)
Connor Root, FR, RHP, Twin Falls HS (ID)
Richard Walker, JR, RHP, Mesa CC
Head Coach Commentary “Lots of new faces and fairly young but really like our ability to command the strike zone on the mound and our new young position players show lots of promise.”
BBNW asked, “What do you want a prospective student-athlete to know about your program?” We’ve completed the 3rd phase of our beautiful new field and stadium and a hitting facility is on schedule to start this summer.
BBNW Analysis The Coyotes should rebound from a very unusual 2018 season in which they did not make the post season for only the second time in Coach Humberger’s 18 years at the helm. He has been part of the program for 32 years with 18 of those as head coach, amassing 560 wins which makes him the highest winning active college head coach in the Northwest at any level. Boyd and Manning will lead the returning pitchers with 22 starts and 140 innings between the two of them a year ago. Van Horne was 1st in team home-runs and 2nd in RBIs while starting every game.

College of Idaho is the first Northwest college to debut in 2019 in Arizona vs. Benedictine Mesa on January 24th.  Their league opener is not until February 23rd vs  vs OIT at home at Wolfe Field. Good luck to the Coyotes!

BBNW Alumni on Roster  7

 

lc state

Lewis-Clark State College – Lewiston, ID

Head Coach Jake Taylor (1st year)
Assistants Allen Balmer, Billy Silvestri
Affiliation NAIA
Conference NAIA West (Cascade Collegiate Conference)
Website http://www.lcwarriors.com/
2018 Record 40-13 overall; 26-6 (1st in conference)
2019 Pre-Season Poll* 1st in conference; 5th in NAIA overall**
Top Returning Players (2018 Stats) Darren Trainor, SR, C (.327 avg, 2 HR, 25 RBI)
Kyle Callahan, SR, 1B/3B, All NAIA-West selection (.285 avg, 10 HR, 37 RBI)
Lalo Porras, SR, RHP (2-1 W/L, 3.13 ERA)
Tyler Burch, SR, RHP, NAIA West Pitcher of the Year (10-2 W/L)
Top New Players Dalton Duarte, SR, 1B, Cal State Dominguez Hills
Zach Needham, JR, SS, Edmonds CC
Jacob Gribbin, JR, CF, Glendale CC
Head Coach Commentary “We are excited to kick off the 2019 season with Concordia and then progress through our tough schedule that will end with us competing at the NAIA Avista College World Series. The players have collectively worked hard this past fall and winter in the classroom, weight room, community, and on the field.”
BBNW asked, “What do you want a prospective student-athlete to know about your program?” LCSC has a rich tradition of academic and athletic excellence.
BBNW Analysis Coach Taylor takes over the storied program in 2019 with as much expectation and excitement as ever before. 19 National Championship titles, including 3 of the last 6 with runner up finishes in the other three years, sets the bar very high. The 57-year record of the program is 2,315-714 (.755). Taylor is a former Warrior from the 1992 championship team and spent one year as an assistant coach. The two-time Idaho High School Coach of the Year also played at Mt. Hood Community College. The Warriors return all but 46 innings on the mound where they led in most pitching team and individual categories last year, including Tyler Burch who was NAIA West Pitcher of the Year. The Warriors also led the NAIA West in nearly every offensive category, but now have big holes to fill after graduation. Callahan was the All-NAIA West utility selection.

The Warriors will open the season at home vs Concordia (switched to Harris Field due to weather) February 1st in a four-game series. D2 powerhouse Western Oregon comes to Lewiston the following weekend on February 8th. Conference play begins February 23rd vs. Corban. LC will host and have an automatic bid to the Avista NAIA National Championship Tournament at Harris Field May 24-31. 2019 is the 20th consecutive year the event has been held in Lewiston. Good luck to the Warriors!

BBNW Alumni on Roster  11

oit logo

Oregon Institute of Technology – Klamath Falls, OR

Head Coach Matt Miles (12th year)
Assistants Phillip Ouellette
Affiliation NAIA
Conference NAIA West (Cascade Collegiate Conference)
Website http://oregontechowls.com/
2018 Record 24-28, 13-18 (4th in conference)
2019 Pre-Season Poll* T-3rd
Top Returning Players (2018 stats) Josh Kallstrom, SR, 1B, All-NAIA West selection (.359 avg, 11 HR, 21 2B, 48 R, 48 RBI)
Austin Zavala, SR, C , All-NAIA West selection, NAIA West Gold Glove (.352 avg, 20 2B, 4 HR, 37 RBI, threw out league leading 19 base stealers)
Chase Wago, SO, P, All-NAIA West selection, NAIA West Gold Glove (8-3 W/L, 92 IP, 74 K)
Trask Telesmanich, JR, RHP (9 saves, 37 K, 33 IP)
Top New Players Alex Malcollm, FR, OF, Wooster HS (NV)
Jax Evenhus, JR, P, Walla Walla CC
Head Coach Commentary “The 2019 squad needs to take a step forward as we fell a game short of making the playoffs in 2018. The many returning veterans with All-Region and Gold Glove accolades will need to lead the path to reach our team goals with the help of a large group of freshmen.”
BBNW asked, “What do you want a prospective student-athlete to know about your program?” Coming soon…
BBNW Analysis Coach Miles, a former Owl himself, is the winningest coach in baseball history at OIT. His team was picked 3rd in the NAIA West coaches pre-season poll, tied with Corban. Kallstrom (2nd in hitting) and Zavala (4th in hitting) are the best of the middle of the order players returning. Kallstrom also was first or tied for first in conference homeruns, total bases, and doubles; Zavala was second in doubles. Both were Gold Glove winners. Wago emerged as the team ace as a freshman, winning 8 games and was 2nd in conference innings pitched. Telesmanich led the league in saves.

Oregon Tech’s season debut is in northern California vs. Simpson University on January 26th, before the league opener on the road at College of Idaho on February 23rd. The pre-season and early conference schedule will include 27 road games before returning to the friendly surroundings of Kiger Stadium on March 16th vs. University of British Columbia. Good luck to the Owls!

BBNW Alumni on Roster  7

ubc

University of British Columbia – Vancouver, BC

Head Coach Chris Pritchett (4th year)
Assistants Wayne Corness, Sammie Starr, Mitch Hodge
Affiliation NAIA
Conference NAIA West (Cascade Collegiate Conference)
Website http://www.gothunderbirds.ca/
2018 Record 29-26, 19-12 (2nd in conference)
2019 Pre-Season Poll* 2nd
Top Returning Players (2018 stats) Niall Windeler, JR LHP, All-NAIA West selection (5-3 W/L,  3.30 ERA, 85 K, 33 BB)
Lucas Soper, SR, OF (.308 avg)
Top New Players Declan Dutton, FR, RHP, Saint Georges HS (BC)
  Jayden Knight, FR, OF, Yale Secondary HS (BC)
Head Coach Commentary  “The 2019 UBC Thunderbirds take on a new look as they add 21 newcomers , including 19 freshmen to this year’s roster.  They do return some key starting pitchers that should keep them competitive in the Cascade Conference.”
BBNW asked, “What do you want a prospective student-athlete to know about your program?” “We believe UBC offers the perfect place for student athletes that are driven to succeed both in the classroom and on the athletic field. The University of British Columbia consistently ranks among the top 20 public universities in the world and boasts a baseball program that develops and regularly produces talent worthy of selection in the Major League Baseball Draft.”
BBNW Analysis Coach Pritchett’s team looks to return to the post-season in 2019 in his 4th season as head coach. Pitching will need to improve (5th ) for that to happen and will be led by staff ace Windeler who was 1st in strikeouts and opposing batting average and 3rd in ERA last year. Soper returns as the top hitter for average and Butler the top power source (.444 slugging). The UBC roster consists of only Canadians.

The Thunderbirds played a handful of games in Japan in the fall which included two games that will count towards their record. They also got a taste of D1 baseball by playing Gonzaga and Oregon State in September exhibition games. UBC spends much of the pre-season schedule in southern California beginning at Westmont College on February 7th. Concordia will be the opponent for their home debut at Tourmaline West Stadium Field on February 23rd followed by NAIA West opener March 1st vs LC State. Good luck to the Thunderbirds!

BBNW Alumni on Roster  1

*2019 NAIA West Coaches Preseason Poll
**2019 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll

These season previews were compiled by Jeff McKay and Josh Warner. 

Look for upcoming conferences posted soon:
GNAC (NCAA Division II)
Monday, February 4: Northwest Conference (NCAA Division III)
Monday, February 11: NCAA Division I
Monday-Friday, February 18-22: NWAC Week, including ID/MT Junior Colleges